Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pride and Passion!

A few friends came over from Karad (around 4hours from here) just to watch this game together. How cool is that? Me being the only Liverpool fan in this place was supported by 3 Chelsea fans. They also belanja me makan chicken briyani afterward.Hahaha!

Well I thought the first half was tight. We started better and had better chances. The first real chance came from Aurelio's free kick when Torres was fouled by Evra. Van Der Sar had to literally claw the superb curling ball from Aurelio out and still managed to recover and position himself well to deny Kuyt's follow-up. Having said that, Kuyt was probably guilty for not taking some chances and turned them into goals. We could've had 4 or 5 goals.

You know you deserved it when the opposing manager himself said that you were the better team. Lucas and Mascherano totally boasted the midfield, something we haven't been doing lately. Carrick and Scholes looked out depth and uncomfortable. Giggs tried to play the game from the periphery, and probably one of the causes why Johnson's attacking movement was limited, besides the latter probably still not having full match fitness. Valencia was causing all sorts of trouble on our left hand side. Rafa must have thought that this would happen, so he put Aurelio at the left midfield to provide a lifeline for Insua when required, and boy Aurelio was boss, attacking and defensively. He could have done better with Benayoun's cross from the right hand side though. Insua markedly improved in the second half, I'm quite worried about the way the oppositions are now channelling their attacks through the inexperinced Insua guarding our left side. He looked out of pace against Valencia today.

That would be the best performance I have ever seen from Lucas. He was everywhere,literally. His positioning has improved, so is his tackling (we could do with less freekicks conceded though, I always close my eyes whenever we concede freekicks), and he can pass. In the 2nd goal buildup, he delayed the pass to Ngog, thus releasing the latter free and putting him one-on-one with Van Der Sar,and we know what happened afterward.You should see Lucas' celebration after the 2nd goal! Mascherano was immense too, doing his usual stuff. Pity about the suspension though, but nobody is complaining! Everybody is having a good time, just enjoying it. =)

Benayoun was one of our best player too, as usual offered his creativity and the confidence to take on the defense. Starting the game at the right flank, he and Kuyt interchanged positions throughout the game. Provided the assist for Torres' opening goal. As usual, a high energy display from Kuyt, much to the annoyance of the opposition's rearguard, but could have done better with touch and finishing.

Johnson didn't look like he's 100% fit yet, but he did enough against Giggs at the right side. Our backline was tremendous today, Carra was back to his usual reliable self! He was lucky not to be sent off for professional foul,but that's the only flaw in his performance today. I'm not complaining, he did the right choice by hauling that Judas down, otherwise that would have put Owen one-on-one with Reina. And the tackle on Carrick was superb, it could have been a penalty, but even those mancs weren't complaining, so why should we? Again, he made the right decision, Carrick would have taken a shot and scored if Carra didn't interfere.

Agger was superb too, especially that tackle on Giggs. Reina didn't have much to do. The only real save he had to make was from Rooney's weak header from Valencia's cross. Torres? What more can I say, even at 80% fitness, he gave United's backline a torrid time. And Rio Ferdinand really helped too, by preferring to jog alongside Torres and gifting him a yard of space, which was exactly what he needed to clinically finish the ball.

In conclusion, in an out-of-10 scale, 10 being the best, everybody in Red shirts deserves a 10. And so does the middle-aged Spaniard in black suit at the byline..=D

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Question of the day: Is our manager trying to get himself sacked?

I'd love to hear your opinions.

I agree with Gerrard's substitution with Aurelio in the 24th min (that is soo unlike Rafael Benitez to make such an early change).

But Voronin in for Benayoun?? When we were 1-1 level with Lyon and there were like 5minutes to final whistle? Seriously Benayoun, who in my eyes was our best attacker tonight? The first thing that crossed my mind is: Is he trying to get himself sacked?? I don't see any rational in this substitution. What does Voronin have that Benayoun does not have? I could usually see the rational behind Rafa's decisions even if I don't agree with them, but I'm totally in the dark on this one.

By the way, Martin Kelly was fantastic. This is the first time I watch him play and he impresses me.He looks like a genuine deal. Are you watching, Mr. Capello?That was a great cross for Aurelio to head in from a point-blank range. And it seems like we went down to pieces when Kelly was taken off due to injury. Nice move from Lucas and Aurelio to set the 1st goal, and Kelly attacking the ball in the penalty box gave space for Benayoun to score. And I think I should do an official count on how many times players give away balls. I think if a meteor happened to fall down from the sky and hit your head tomorrow, you'd blame Lucas too. (kidding).

Insua was %^&*. What the hell happened to him? I thought Rafa was going to sub him with Aurelio in the 24th minute, I was almost going to applause Rafa for that. Kuyt was not very effective, but did few alright link-up plays. Aurelio crossed for Benayoun's goal and almost added one to his name too if it's not for that world class save from their keeper.

I miss the times when we used to know how to pass!

I haven't done the maths yet, but I think we do need to win all 3 of the remaining games. 2 away,1 home.Tough ones, with the way we're playing, we might end up in the Europa League after group stage.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fatimatussolihah binti Aziz

13/10/2009. Several messages entered my ancient cell phone's inbox at once. I was wondering what kind of emergency could this be? I opened the first message,it's from Chai Ling, saying, "Tim passed away." I opened the other messages, they told me pretty much the same thing. Who is this Tim? Do I know any Tim? Can't be that Tim,right? Is this some kind of practical joke?

I went online straight away. I found that my homepage was full of my friends' status updates saying Al-Fatihah Tim, rest in peace. My head started to spin. TIM?? The one and only Tim I knew? This can't be right. I called my friend Asma who's studying in Salem,Tamil Nadu, same place Tim was studying.

Asma confirmed everything. Tim passed away in a car accident that evening. She died on the spot. The driver and another passanger didn't survive, the other passanger was in critical condition. The driver of the car they were riding tried to overtake a car in front of them when a bus came in the opposite direction and collided with the car. Encik Khai, our consule education in Chennai would be coming down there the next day and arranged to bring the body back to Malaysia.

Everything that happened was so sudden it came as a shock to everyone. Who would have expected a healthy, happy-go-lucky, easy going girl to die young? But then, we forgot that God have better plan for her. Tim, may your soul be blessed. You'll always in our hearts.

Allahyarham Fatimatussolihah binti Aziz, or better known as Tim, was a final year dental student, not third year medical student as reported by some Malaysian papers who never bother to get the facts right. One of the papers interviewed another friend, Ting Teck Pei, but it seemed like they had a confusion about my freakishly huge and masculine friend's gender. How shameful. I knew Tim in preU, we were in the same class then. She was one of those anak Terengganu celup who's proud of her root. In our class back then there was another Terengganu celup, a nice guy named Farhan. Well, Farhan lives in Terengganu but he speaks the standard BM better than he speaks Terengganu, so he's always the subject of Tim's teasing. Tim used to say obscene/curse words in bahasa Terengganu in front of him, knowing he didn't know what those words mean, and we both would laugh at him. LOL. Good times.

Tim, I'll always remember you.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Stamford Bridge

Okay I still feel like talking about the Chelsea game.
Having watched a large part of last night's game under a calmer condition, I found that we didn't play all too badly.
We just didn't take our chances, and we didn't have that slice of luck we needed.
Torres' and Benayoun's uncharacteristic misses cost us the game, and Carragher's mistakes too.
If only we were awarded a penalty when Drogba fouled Skrtel, the result would have turned different.
Lucas didn't get skinned in the central midfield, but I agree that he was not what we needed yesterday although I could understand what Benitez might be thinking, fielding him yesterday instead of going with Gerrard in the midfield.
Chelsea weren't that great yesterday, but they took their chances well. Drogba made the difference, yes Drogba the muscular,strong and powerful cheating scum that always goes down way too easily when wind breezes in his direction.
And we had only 3 minutes of added time, because Rafa couldn't tell the assistant referee to add 6minutes instead unlike some particular manager.
Do we stand a chance of winning any title this season? Frankly speaking, I have the everything-is-over feeling but there are 30 more games to play. Manchester United have weaker team than last season, but then they always have FA and referees in their manager's pocket, they can have the longest added time they want, and luck too. An own goal at stoppage time from a brother of their defender.haha. Chelsea will lose half their squad to that African nations cup, and lets see how long they can endure with their ageing squad before injury crisis hits them. Arsenal have been good, but any team can score against them. Manchester City are scary, they have decent if not world-class players and depth of squad. Tottenham too, having our former striker who'd rather sit on their bench instead of ours. Like someone pointed out before, the last time a team lost 3 out of the 8 opening games but went on to win the league was Manchester United in 1967, but record is there to be broken. Lets get our hope and faith together and get behind our team. YNWA.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Chelsea 2 Liverpool 0

So we lost. We were nowhere near good enough today. Chelsea wasn't amazing either, but they did enough to win. We displayed no creativity. We need a genuine playmaker, stat.

We lost the battle in the midfield today. Chelsea on papers have better midfield players compared to us; Lampard, Ballack, Essien, Malouda, Deco as opposed to Lucas, Mascherano, Plessis, Gerrard. Perhaps we shouldn't count Gerrard as he rarely plays in central midfield nowadays. Lucas may be playing well against lesser teams but he can't be expected to deal with classy players the likes of Lampard, Essien and Ballack, they aren't in the same league.

I thought Mascherano played okay, but his mistake costs us. He was caught off possession by Lampard in the midfield, who passed to Deco who passed to Drogba who crossed for Anelka who went round Carragher like he wasn't even there and headed the ball in. And for goodness sake will somebody kill Drogba for me?? Otherwise I'll have to do it myself. He is inarguably a great striker with speed and power but he's just.......ugly and revolting and provoking and on top of that a drama queen. He should have been booked for at least 6 simulations tonight. And he killed our defense too. I thought Skrtel played well, he dealt with high balls and crosses well.

In my humble opinion, the only better Liverpool players tonight were Skrtel, Mascherano (bar that mistake), Insua and Johnson. Inexperienced as he is, Insua made some crucial interceptions down the left side of the area. Our attacking play looked better when Johnson went forward to support Dirk Kuyt, even forcing Lampard to be an additional left back.LOL. Having said that, Kuyt was ineffective tonight. Riera was frustrating too, I was expecting Rafa to substitute him with Benayoun on the 60th minute coz Rafa has never made substitutions before the 60th minute.

Well, Gerrard has been very poor this season. I mean, there are poorer players but Gerrard is the one to look up to for inspiration. He hasn't gotten any man of the match award this season, has he? Once again, he was caught in the no man's land and Torres was totally isolated and wasn't getting the supply he's supposed to get, thus he couldn't score. Like I said, our crosses were shocking, we never won any high balls tonight. This is so frustrating I don't know what to write. And the fact that we were not given a penalty when Drogba fouled Skrtel in the penalty box and Benayoun missing an open goal (!) when Hilario was already defeated just sum up the night. We didn't play well, nor did we have any luck. We had few chances but we didn't take em well.Two mistakes and we were punished for that. Carra really should have done better with the 2nd goal, and probably at fault for the 1st goal too. I blame Gerrard and Carragher for all of our poor performances this season. And Rafa too, due to his team selection and his inability to see that Gerrard should play in the midfield in big games. This is not a negative for Lucas, he is decent but he just doesn't offer what we need. He would make a good squad player, we can use him against the lesser team when Mascherano is not needed.

The good thing is that we were much better defensively today and didn't concede from set pieces. But all the same, we conceded from open play. Haih. At times we outplayed Chelsea, but a moment of clinicalness from them and unclinicalness from us cost us the result.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

pre Chelsea build-up

To be honest, I dread any game against a decent team with the way Liverpool are currently playing, and Chelsea are far from decent, they are actually a great team.

With Mascherano reaching his fitness, Rafa may take a risk by playing him tomorrow. We missed him immensely in Italy, Lucas is not as quick as him and didn't know who chase,didn't know who to tackle when Fiorentina passed the ball quickly in the midfield.

For years, Liverpool's main strength has always been at the central midfield. We boasted a number of world class central midfielders in Steven Gerrard, Xabi Alonso and Javier Mascherano, just to name a few. Now with Alonso gone and Gerrard practically does not play in midfield anymore, out team struggle to cope in the midfield. Well, when a team struggles at the midfield, that team usually is not able to win and keep the ball, ergo the striker of that team is not supplied thus the absence of goal. Chelsea, inarguably have better choice in midfield. Mascherano can't be expected to take of Lampard, Ballack and Essien all at the same time. They may use the same tactic Hiddink used last season that is marking Gerrard and Torres out of the game. And Lucas, albeit is doing quite well in recent games, isn't exactly in the same class with Lampard, Ballack, Essien and Mikel. But who knows? He surprised everyone by doing alright in Old Trafford last season.

That's one aspect to ponder upon. Another aspect of our game that costs us goals this season is our central defense. Skrtel and Carra aren't talking to each other anymore or what?? The partnership so solid last season seems so vulnerable now, with Carra looking older and older in every game. The way our defense handles crosses are unbelivable. Our full backs are doing okay, contributing to attacking play, but that generates another drawback; exposing our already vulnerable centre backs, especially during counter attacks. The absence of Mascherano in the last few games contributes to the sloppy defense, as he is usually the one for breaking up the opponents' plays and counter attacks, and often covers for full backs whenever the go forward. Drogba is so gonna kill us tomorrow. I hope Agger plays, as he always does well against Chelsea, but I reckon Benitez will take the 'safe' side by playing Carra and Skrtel.

Well, this is just me talking crap. Pessimist and fickle-minded as I am, I hope we at least get a point from the Bridge tomorrow.

P/s: I want this line-up:


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Before you condemn any particular player, might as well check here for some facts..=)

And someone is obsessed with us.......(more)